Getting started with adventures
Think of adventure and chances are, an image is formed of white water rafting, of trekking across wide, hot, open deserts, of treasure chests and maps and things ‘other people’ do. Unattainable, time consuming, aspirational. Have you ever felt like that? I know I did. I wished I was more exciting, more spontaneous. I wanted to be out and about and discovering, but never had enough motivation. I could never think of an ‘adventure’ that I could do.
Eventually I decided something had to change. And I started to think of adventure in a new way. I realised the word ‘adventure’ doesn’t always have to mean a massive expedition. You can have an everyday adventure and still feel the excitement, the freedom, you can still get out and about and connect with nature. You can still learn and discover and laugh and be amazed. I started looking at adventure in a new light. Once I realised this, my mindset, and my life, started to change.
Adventure is a way of thinking. By looking for opportunities to have more adventures, my mindset changed, and weirdly enough over time, I became more adventurous. It’s not that I went off jungle trekking or gorge walking. I just shifted my view, just a little. And a whole new world opened up.
Make more room for the little adventures, and suddenly, the big ones don’t seem so out of reach. Talk to people who are inspiring and suddenly the ‘I can’t do that’ turns into ‘why ever not?’.
As you’ve probably gathered if you’ve read One Empty Shelf before, I’ve been into a form of minimalism for a few years now. I mention this because I feel it’s important to shift from materialism and consumerism to a more experience-focused outlook. Memories matter. More shoes don’t. By all means buy what you need. But what you actually need and what you think you need may, as I found, be worlds apart.
When I made the decision to finally have more adventure, the first thing I did was change my Twitter. Now, I know, I know. Social media? Not really the be all and end all, right? That’s true, but there’s no denying the impact it has on your way of seeing the world. Feed full of whining, annoying, moaning people? It’s not long before you’ll start to feel exactly the same.
So I changed it up. I followed people I admired, whether they were having big adventures or small. I got excited by the #microadventure movement of Al Humphreys. I love following Dave Cornthwaite. I am inspired by Scott Dinsmore and his Live Your Legend community. I read Challenge Sophie’s tweets and am lifted by her spirit. It’s just something small, but once my Twitter feed was buzzing with positivity and ‘can-do’….well guess what? I became more positive as a result.
So, I gave myself a little challenge. I did 7 days of adventures, one after the other little mini experiences that didn’t seem like much at the time, but pushed me and gave me so many memories. (You can do the exact same 7 day adventure and minimalism startup in One Empty Shelf’s 7 days to amaze course, coming soon!) I laughed, I got freezing, soaked through, I felt deep joy, I felt more alive than I’d felt for years. And at the end, I was raring to go. Every day I was looking for opportunities to say yes.
Never check the weather
Ever looked forward to something, then been disappointed that you can’t go because it’s raining? Me too. But recently, on Twitter, somebody mentioned they never ever check the weather forecasts when they go adventuring. Now this is Britain, and it is ‘summer’ (or as near to summer as we get!) but with the right equipment, he had a point. If you’re going somewhere freezing, or boiling, or humid; if you’re climbing Snowdon or walking the Pennine Way or hiking in the Cairngorms then yes, weather is important. But if you’re camping in a tent in a field, if you’re bivvying and have the right sleeping bag, if you’re cycling or going for a jog or a run or a short walk or a hand bike or exploring a city….don’t bother. Feel the nature. It might be sunny. It might be binning it down. Be adventurous. Prepare, and conquer.
The small stuff-tiny adventures
Walk and discover minibeasts. Channel your childhood. Lie in heather and watch aeroplanes. Take a bark rubbing of a tree. Collect fallen leaves. Forage. Picnic. Sleep outdoors and wake at dawn. Wild swim. Run in a downpour. Sleep in your back garden, or in your conservatory. Climb a hill and eat an apple. Get off the train a stop early. Find a folding cycle on freecycle. Try and get all your equipment for free for a trip. Puddlejump. Climb a tree. Plant vegetables. Sing and feel joy. Connect with your pets. Take a new class. Just be still and breathe. Walk through muddy fields and don’t worry about getting dirty. Just step outside and look up.
I’d love to hear your experiences and any obstacles you faced, or are facing. Please share in the comments any blocks you have in getting more adventure into your life, and for those of you that have been on some amazing adventures, big or small!